Looking at a TV interview earlier this week in which Tom Jones was talking more about Elvis than his new album we decided to have a look at the connection between these two Las Vegas entertainers. On the "Talk Of The Town" website we found a nice article with an excerpt from Tom Jones' biography in which he looks back on his "evenings" with The King.
.....In 1965, Tom had his first American tour. His experiences in America that year were far from happy. He had been shot strictly from the waist up on The Ed Sullivan Show. And even though that invaluable national TV exposure had given him two immediate top ten Stateside hits with 'It's Not Unusual' and 'What's New Pussycat?', he was not treated like a star when he returned in July for his first US tour.
But that tour had provided Tom with one indelible memory - he had met Elvis Presley. When the Caravan stopped off in Los Angeles, it was arranged for Tom to drive over to Paramount Studios, where Elvis was shooting one of his movies. When Tom met him, Elvis was walking towards Tom, singing 'With These Hands'.
In 1968 they met again. Jones had his show in the Flamingo at that time. Barbra Streisand was booked to open the International Hotel in Las Vegas, and Elvis was contracted to follow her. Elvis was booked in a whole year ahead, but in 1968 he didn't have a stageshow. He began visiting Vegas, and giving some thought as to what kind of show he would do, because he hadn't been in Vegas for years.
One of the things he specifically wanted was to be introduced to Tom Jones. But before Elvis met Tom Jones, he wanted to see his show without anyone knowing. After the show they met in the dressing room. The meeting between Tom and Elvis formed the beginning of what was to become a cordial friendship.
One time, Tom was having difficulties in Las Vegas with his black back-up singers. On stage in Vegas, he had made a 'joke' about the Ku-Klux-Klan which offended them, and they refused to perform with him. So, unknown to Tom, Elvis arranged six girl singers from Nashville and Los Angeles. But Tom apologized for his tactless quip, and order was restored. Still, the six singers Elvis had imported stayed around for the entire week, and entertained him and Tom after showtime.....